Politics & Government

Politics & Government
4:59 pm
Tue November 6, 2012

Battleground States Carry Obama To Second Term

President Obama walks on stage with first lady Michelle Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia to deliver his victory speech on election night in Chicago.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 5:58 am

  • NPR Election Coverage Hour 1
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  • NPR Election Coverage Hour 7
  • Obama's Victory Speech
  • Romney's Concession Speech

Americans elected Barack Obama to a second term Tuesday, with the president capturing or on the verge of winning all of the key states that had been at the center of his hard-fought campaign against Republican Mitt Romney.

"Whether I earned your vote or not, I have listened to you," Obama said early Wednesday at a speech before thousands of supporters in Chicago. "I have learned from you. And you've made me a better president.

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Politics & Government
4:54 pm
Tue November 6, 2012

Republicans Keep The House; Democrats To Retain Senate

Democrat Elizabeth Warren takes the stage after defeating incumbent GOP Sen. Scott Brown in the Massachusetts Senate race on Tuesday.
Michael Dwyer AP

Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 5:45 am

Republicans have easily maintained their hold on the House, while missteps from Tea Party favorites helped Democrats retain a majority in the Senate.

That means the two chambers of Congress remain deeply divided, with prospects for agreement on such big-ticket items as deficits, tax rates and climate change unclear.

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Politics & Government
2:22 pm
Tue November 6, 2012

In Guam, 'Non-Binding Straw Poll' Gives Obama A Commanding Win

The polls in Guam have closed and the results are in.

President Obama managed a big victory, garnering 72 percent of the votes. That's about 23,067 votes compared to 8,443 votes for Gov. Mitt Romney.

Now for the disclaimers: Guam, 6,000 miles and 18 times zones away from California, is a territory of the United States, so their votes don't count. The presidential part of the vote is considered a "non-binding straw poll." But if you believe in bellweathers, listen up.

Here's what R. Todd Thompson of NPR member station KPRG in Guam told us:

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Politics & Government
6:45 am
Tue November 6, 2012

Ala. Voters to Decide on 11 Statewide Amendments

Amendment 1 asks Ala. voters whether to continue a 20-year-old program that has allowed the state to buy 220,000 acres of public land to be used for hunting, fishing, birding and other activities.

Voters in Alabama will do more Tuesday than elect a president and several state officials, they will vote on 11 proposed constitutional amendments.

Arguably the most debated amendment is No. 4. It's the second time lawmakers have attempted to remove racist language from the 1901 Constitution that allowed separate schools and poll taxes. But black legislators have opposed the measure saying it leaves an amendment that says Alabama children have no right to an education.

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Politics & Government
6:26 am
Tue November 6, 2012

Alabama Turnout Tuesday Expected to Equal 2008

Political experts are expecting Alabama voters to turn out Tuesday in numbers similar to 2008, even though this election lacks the history-making excitement of four years ago.

Alabama's chief election official, Secretary of State Beth Chapman, said she's looking for 72 to 74 percent of Alabama's 2.8 million voters to participate. That compares to 73.8 percent four years ago and 72.5 percent in 2004.

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Politics & Government
5:49 am
Tue November 6, 2012

Birmingham, Ala., FBI Gets New Leader

Richard D. Schwein Jr. will command the FBI's Birmingham Division.
Credit fbi.gov

The FBI is getting a new leader in Birmingham.

Richard D. Schwein Jr. has been named special agent in charge of the Birmingham Division. FBI Director Robert Mueller appointed him to the job.

Schwein began his career with the FBI in 1988 and has held a variety of jobs.

He recently served as deputy director for law enforcement at the CIA Counterterrorism Center. Schwein also was the assistant special agent in charge of the FBI in Mobile from 2009 to 2011.

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Town Shutdown
5:27 pm
Mon November 5, 2012

Ala. Town Shuts Down Amid Leadership Void

Senator Paul Bussman of Cullman is trying to help the Cullman County town of Colony solve their leadership void issues.
Credit facebook.com

A north Alabama town is shutting down after leaders couldn't pick a new mayor.

The Cullman County town of Colony closed on Monday.

Town hall is locked, and there's no one authorized to pay bills or make deposits.

The problem is the City Council's inability to select a mayor for the town of about 270 people.

Two candidates tied in the municipal runoff on Oct. 9, sending the decision to the council. But members have deadlocked each time they voted on a new mayor, leaving Colony without a chief executive.

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4:54 pm
Mon November 5, 2012

Suit Challenges 2 Amendments On Ala. Ballot

A lawsuit by a Montgomery woman challenges Amendment 9 and 10 on the Nov. 6 ballot.

A Montgomery woman has filed suit challenging two constitutional amendments that are on Tuesday's statewide ballot.

Sandra Bell asked a judge Monday to block officials from certifying the vote on Amendments 9 and 10.

Bell says the proposals violate the very state Constitution they seek to amend. She is representing the Alabama Association for Judeo-Christian Values.

Amendment 9 would update a constitutional article on corporations. Amendment 10 could modernize language on banks, including removing mention of the gold standard.

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Politics & Government
8:13 am
Mon November 5, 2012

Ala GOP Plans Election Night Party at Gun Range

Alabama Republicans are holding their election night party at a gun range, where participants will be able to shoot a few rounds as returns come in.

The state Republican Party is inviting supporters to the 52,000-square-foot Hoover Tactical Firearms for a "victory party" Tuesday night.

The suburban Birmingham business sells firearms, and it has ranges where people can shoot their own guns or firearms that are available for rent.

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Politics & Government
7:58 am
Mon November 5, 2012

Ala. Governor Plans Discussions of Amendment 2

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley will be in Birmingham and Mobile Monday to discuss an amendment on Tuesday's ballot to allow the state to refinance bonds.

Bentley says the savings will free up funds to provide incentives for companies considering moving their facilities to Alabama. The incentives can also be used to encourage companies to expand facilities already in Alabama. Bentley said he believes passage of the amendment will create new jobs in Alabama.

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Politics & Government
6:00 am
Mon November 5, 2012

Countdown to Election: Ala. District 7

U.S. Representative Terri Sewell serves Alabama's 7th Congressional District. She is running against Republican Don Chamberlain in Tuesday's election.

November 6th is now just one day away. For Alabamians, it means they’ll cast their votes not only for who they want as president, but who they want to serve as their U.S. Congressional representative. In District 7, which includes Tuscaloosa, Jefferson, Dallas, and Wilcox counties, Democratic incumbent Terri Sewell is running against Republican Don Chamberlain. Sewell was first elected to the U.S. House in 2010. She is the first black woman elected to Congress from Alabama.

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Politics & Government
10:01 am
Sun November 4, 2012

Ala. GOP Dispatches Volunteers To Swing States

Alabama Republicans are sending volunteers to assist GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney in key swing states
Credit algop.org / Alabama Republican Party

Alabama Republicans are sending volunteers to assist GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney in swing states, including Ohio and Florida.

Ken Brown, the char of the Cullman County GOP, returned this week from Ohio. He was among more than 100 people from Alabama working for the party.

He says that he and other volunteers spent days knocking on doors to meet voters and helping with other campaign duties.

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9:44 am
Sun November 4, 2012

Alabama Governor Drops Riley's Budget Process

Governor Robert Bentley has abandoned a budgeting process used by former Gov. Bob Riley's administration.
Credit State of Alabama

Gov. Robert Bentley's administration has abandoned a budgeting process used by former Gov. Bob Riley's administration that required government agencies to set goals and plan their spending to achieve those goals.

The budgeting process, which went by the acronym SMART, was run out of the state's Executive Planning Office. The last person to head that office, Jonathan Barganier, says that data collected was useful, but it often wasn't used by legislators for budget decisions. He said the additional paperwork it required was a challenge.

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Affordable Care Amendment
4:27 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

Alabama Voters Take On Affordable Care Act

Amendment 6 will allow Alabama voters to express their views on the Affordable Care Act without having any significant legal impact.
Credit istockphoto

A constitutional amendment on Tuesday's ballot will allow Alabama voters to express their views on the Affordable Care Act without having any significant legal impact.

Amendment 6 would prohibit any person, employer or health care provider from being compelled to participate in any health care system.

The sponsor, former Republican state Rep. Blaine Galliher of Rainbow City, says it allows voters to express their views on the act and its passage will encourage the state attorney general to keep pursuing legal challenges.

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11:21 am
Fri November 2, 2012

A 2012 Statewide Amendments Overview With The League Of Women Voters

Alabamian's will get to decide on 11 amendments to the state's constitution on November 6.
Credit Vox Efx / Flickr

Election Day is less than a week away and there are many important races ranging from local all the way up to national for voters to decide. Alabamians will also have a chance to decide the outcome of 11 amendments on this year’s ballot as well. Alabama Public Radio’s Ryan Vasquez has an overview of the ballot measures and some of the amendments that are drumming up controversy.

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